Cumin and paprika spiced chicken served alongside a crisp arugula corn salad and topped with an addictively tangy green sauce.
CHICKEN MARINADE: in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Halve chicken breasts horizontally. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of your frying pan, pound breasts to even thickness (you don't want the meat super flat, just even in thickness). Place the prepared chicken in a large plastic bag and pour the marinade mix over. Seal the bag without air and knead to coat all the chicken in the marinade. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes up to 6 hours. IF possible, make the sauce now too so it has a chance to sit and flavors can intensify.
COOK CHICKEN: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F.) Generously oil the grill (I drench a roll-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates. Don't skip this step.) (Grill pan: add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan) Place the marinated chicken on the grill. Discard any leftover marinade. Grill for 10-12 minutes, flipping once in between halfway, or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperature is at 165 degrees F.
SALAD: Grill the corn on the cob and red pepper (Note 2). In a mason jar, add the red wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, olive oil, and salt + pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Shake to combine. In a bowl, toss the arugula, corn cut off the grilled cob (slightly cooled), and chopped bell pepper. Add dressing right before serving (you may not use all the dressing, but we like a generous amount). Toss to combine, taste for seasoning.
SAUCE: In a high powered blender, add the following: jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, and sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper). Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Note the heat does increase as the sauce sits.
ASSEMBLE: Serve grilled chicken alongside a generous helping of salad. Sprinkle cheese on top. Add sliced avocado if desired. Serve with a side of green sauce or drizzle it over everything.
Note 1: this is about 1 cup chopped jalapenos, remove ribs and seeds before adding to the blender. Use less or more depending on heat preference. The sauce's heat does intensify as it sits.
Note 2: How to grill corn: Preheat a grill to medium high heat, around 400 degrees F. Once hot, clean the grill grates. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Pour about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on each corn cob and rub that oil into all the sides. Very lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the corn. (Remember the cotija cheese is quite salty, so you don't want to add too much salt here.) Place corn on grill grates (nothing needs to go down first/don't wrap in foil) and close grill. Allow to cook (temps remaining at 400F) for about 3 minutes per side undisturbed. Using tongs rotate and continue cooking for about 12 minutes total. When all sides are browned, remove from the grill onto a plate. How to grill pepper: Rub vegetable or olive oil over the pepper and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, rotate every 3-4 minutes for a total of 10 minutes or until charred to preference. Remove all veggies and let cool before chopping.